How badly is this photo breaking the rules?

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Discussions
The Jacal
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How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
Apr 19, 2013

Hi all,

I quite like this photo, I was lucky with the timing, lack of people, the weather; the cloudburst that finished about two minutes before gives a nice reflection, and lucky with the 'antenna'.

I know that it doesn't follow traditional rules. I tried to get a bit of symmetry, a bit of balance without having too much dead space.

Insect man.

It's an 'old' pic from the summer; I mislaid the memory card and found it recently, which was nice.

Anyway, what do you think?

Constructive criticism is good, if you're going to be 'mean-spirited', no problem, just say what is wrong, 

Thanks.

Jon.

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Bob Tullis
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

I see nothing about rules here that are flagrantly in conflict.   I like it very much.

I'd have toyed with it further myself, mainly trying to get the 'horizon' level for more balance, but that's a typical back seat driver type comment.

YOu know the rules, but you can trust your vision for when it feels right.  Use the rules to determine what might be wrong when it feels wrong.

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PC Wheeler
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

Rules? You mean you didn't get a release from the subject?

We learn the rules of composition, but they are not dogma. Breaking them (and I'm not sure you did) creatively is common and often essential.

1/4000 sec at f/9 and ISO 320: Must have been very bright!  But it worked well.

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walkaround
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

The Jacal wrote:

I quite like this photo

Then why worry about "rules"?

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Prairie Pal
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

It depends on whether or not you're entering it in a color or b/w class. 

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The Jacal
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to Bob Tullis, Apr 19, 2013

Bob Tullis wrote:

I see nothing about rules here that are flagrantly in conflict.   I like it very much.

Thanks.

I'd have toyed with it further myself, mainly trying to get the 'horizon' level for more balance, but that's a typical back seat driver type comment.

I only noticed the level after I posted.

YOu know the rules, but you can trust your vision for when it feels right.  Use the rules to determine what might be wrong when it feels wrong.

Sure, thanks, I just wondered if it worked in a general concensus.

Thanks,

Jon.

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The Jacal
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to PC Wheeler, Apr 19, 2013

PC Wheeler wrote:

Rules? You mean you didn't get a release from the subject?

Living in France, that's a contentious subject...

We learn the rules of composition, but they are not dogma. Breaking them (and I'm not sure you did) creatively is common and often essential.

I agree totally, as I do with Bob also,  but for some they are dogma, I was interested what people would think.

1/4000 sec at f/9 and ISO 320: Must have been very bright!  But it worked well.

Yes, I'm not too sure how that happened. It was probably because I was with my wife, so any kind of 'fiddling' becomes a real nuisance to her.  She has a sony point n shoot, always in iAuto, or whatever Sony calls it.

And, yes, it was bright, especially after the rain; no clouds and lots of reflection.

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Phil

Thanks, Jon.

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The Jacal
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to walkaround, Apr 19, 2013

walkaround wrote:

The Jacal wrote:

I quite like this photo

Then why worry about "rules"?

As I said above, I was interested to see how it fits in with others' ideas on 'rules'.

Thanks.

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Cliff Reiter
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

I think the photo is beautiful and I assume your broken "rule" is the rule of two thirds. It seems to me that 2/3 is to provide a subject with relationship or context. Your photo coveys isolation and symmetry beautifully with the ever so slight asymmetries conveying progression of time. Is the focal plane in the foreground? Is that intentional? I think having the subject unfocussed works here. Well done.

Best, Cliff

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The Jacal
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to Prairie Pal, Apr 19, 2013

Prairie Pal wrote:

It depends on whether or not you're entering it in a color or b/w class. 

Absolutely!!  I did actually umm and ahh about whether to leave it in colour or not!

Thanks.

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The Jacal
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to Cliff Reiter, Apr 19, 2013

Cliff Reiter wrote:

I think the photo is beautiful and I assume your broken "rule" is the rule of two thirds.

Thanks, and yes, I ' broke' the rules of thirds;

It seems to me that 2/3 is to provide a subject with relationship or context. Your photo coveys isolation and symmetry beautifully with the ever so slight asymmetries conveying progression of time. Is the focal plane in the foreground? Is that intentional?

Having the subject in the dead centre can sometimes sap the life out of an image, but i think it works here.

I was with my wife (see reply above), the weather had just changed, summer shower which led to a bright spell, I saw this guy walking along, i got off a few shots quickly, and  I think I missed focus, so to answer your question, it was unintentional.

I think having the subject unfocussed works here. Well done.

Thanks, it kind of leads into it.

Best, Cliff

Thanks agian,

Jon.

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richarddd
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

Very nice photo.

The only "rule" it seems to break is the rule of thirds, but there's an exception for reflections. The common example is a landscape photo with body of water reflecting the upper portion of the photo across a centered horizon.

Compositional rules are suggestions, nothing more.

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s_grins
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

Well, I have not found this photo appealing to my senses. It is very calculated and lacks of 'twist' and surprise.

Also I'd crop this photo all over to bring the center closer and to eliminate 2 black triangles on the left and right where floor and 'raising sun' meet together

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Ulric
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

You could have placed the person a bit to the left or right to "comply" with the rule of thirds. But I think that rule deserves to be broken. It is amusing when someone posts a bunch of pictures and you can almost see the 3x3 grid in each one.

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oeoek
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

Rules are just guideline, I would not worry about it too much.

Having said that, I would, like others mentioned, level the horizontal line in the middle, and I would also crop the bottom a little to remove the dryer floor stones and the 3 heavy black lines.

Uhm... Drats, drats and double drats! Foiled again, now it is a 2/3 1/3 composition

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LincolnB
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

The Jacal wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

I see nothing about rules here that are flagrantly in conflict.   I like it very much.

Thanks.

I'd have toyed with it further myself, mainly trying to get the 'horizon' level for more balance, but that's a typical back seat driver type comment.

I only noticed the level after I posted.

YOu know the rules, but you can trust your vision for when it feels right.  Use the rules to determine what might be wrong when it feels wrong.

Sure, thanks, I just wondered if it worked in a general concensus.

Thanks,

Jon.

I agree with Bob about the leveling. One of the "rules" is that it's okay to make a symmetrical composition but it has to be as symmetrical as possible, otherwise it looks out of sorts. There are more composition types than just the "rule of thirds"; symmetry is one.

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GeorgianBay1939
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

The Jacal wrote:

Hi all,

I quite like this photo, I was lucky with the timing, lack of people, the weather; the cloudburst that finished about two minutes before gives a nice reflection, and lucky with the 'antenna'.

I know that it doesn't follow traditional rules. I tried to get a bit of symmetry, a bit of balance without having too much dead space.

Insect man.

It's an 'old' pic from the summer; I mislaid the memory card and found it recently, which was nice.

Anyway, what do you think?

Constructive criticism is good, if you're going to be 'mean-spirited', no problem, just say what is wrong, 

Thanks.

Jon.

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"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." Richard Dawkins.

Being a newbie, my rules aren't well burned in.

When I look at that image I see great left/right symmetry and very little up/down symmetry, in spite of the very nice high contrast reflection.   I was bothered by the foreground and the little corner triangles and decided to download and play with it.  I only do that with images that I really like and find challenging.

Here is what works best for me.

LR4: Crop maintaining AR, Autotone to make the Jack discernable.

Trying to put that into words is difficult for me.... maybe the lead-ins of the upper surface is more powerful when symmetrical, the triangles and earlier foreground are distracting, the slight brightening of shadow will cause the viewer to linger a little longer on the image and notice other things about it ... like the beautiful geometrical figures on the right.  And of course the title is a great prod in the right direction!!

General Douglas MacArthur: "Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind."

Seemed to have worked for him.   I don't know if it applies to photographers. 

t

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PStu
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to GeorgianBay1939, Apr 19, 2013

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

The Jacal wrote:

Hi all,

I quite like this photo, I was lucky with the timing, lack of people, the weather; the cloudburst that finished about two minutes before gives a nice reflection, and lucky with the 'antenna'.

I know that it doesn't follow traditional rules. I tried to get a bit of symmetry, a bit of balance without having too much dead space.

Insect man.

It's an 'old' pic from the summer; I mislaid the memory card and found it recently, which was nice.

Anyway, what do you think?

Constructive criticism is good, if you're going to be 'mean-spirited', no problem, just say what is wrong, 

Thanks.

Jon.

-- hide signature --

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7467981@N05/
"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." Richard Dawkins.

Being a newbie, my rules aren't well burned in.

When I look at that image I see great left/right symmetry and very little up/down symmetry, in spite of the very nice high contrast reflection.   I was bothered by the foreground and the little corner triangles and decided to download and play with it.  I only do that with images that I really like and find challenging.

Here is what works best for me.

LR4: Crop maintaining AR, Autotone to make the Jack discernable.

Trying to put that into words is difficult for me.... maybe the lead-ins of the upper surface is more powerful when symmetrical, the triangles and earlier foreground are distracting, the slight brightening of shadow will cause the viewer to linger a little longer on the image and notice other things about it ... like the beautiful geometrical figures on the right.  And of course the title is a great prod in the right direction!!

General Douglas MacArthur: "Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind."

Seemed to have worked for him.   I don't know if it applies to photographers. 

t

This version is stronger.  The triangles didn't bother me so much as the dark foreground that was slightly sharper in the original.  Yes, the eye goes to light areas, but it also goes to sharp areas.  This slight tweaking of the levels improves the shot.

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Peter Bendheim
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Re: How badly is this photo breaking the rules?
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

There are no rules. An image should look good to the eye and not be jarring. Most of all it should say something and not be meaningless. Without meaning an image has no value, it's just a recording.

Rules are things perpetuated by camera technophiles and photo clubs. Silly judges in neighbourhood photo contests judge images by technical rules, not by content.

Shoot images from the heart and soul. Photography is a language. Say something meaningful using the language of photography. All the matters is content!!!  Ask yourself  why you want to take a particular shot. When you have understood why, tell that through the medium of the image. Express it. The rest will fall into place. Really. I promise.

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G1Houston
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It does not work for me
In reply to The Jacal, Apr 19, 2013

The two halves are sectioned right in the middle resulting in an image in which its elements are broken and un-united.  The tilted horizon did not help.

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